Fever in Cats and Dogs: Causes and Treatment

This article describes the causes of pet fever and how to treat a cat or dog with a fever.
The release of pyrogens into the circulation is what causes fevers. These pyrogens reach the brain and boost the body’s thermostat. Many viruses and bacteria can not thrive in very hot settings. Therefore fevers may assist the body fight illness.

Causes of Feline and Canine Fever

Causes of fever in pets include:

  • Infectious disease (either internal illness or an infected wound)
  • Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Certain pharmaceuticals
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Toxic compounds such as macadamia nuts and human medications

Some animals may also have low-grade fevers for one to two days after vaccination.

Determine Whether Your Pet Has a Fever

Fever’s most typical symptoms are tiredness and lack of appetite. Some animals with fever may become irritable, halt or decrease their water intake, tremble, breathe quickly, cease grooming, or hide. In addition, there is an increased probability of fever if a cat or dog has tumors, swellings, open wounds, or infection signs such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or eye discharge.

Contrary to the prevalent belief that a feverish animal usually has a hot, dry nose, a healthy pet will have an excellent, moist nose; hydration and surrounding temperature influence nose temperature and moisture. A pet may also sleep curled into a tight ball, which may warm its nose.

To be sure, use a rectal thermometer explicitly built for cats and dogs to measure the animal’s temperature (or a pediatric rectal thermometer).

How to Take Your Pet’s Temperature

Two individuals are required for this task, one to hold the animal while the other inserts the thermometer. To take a cat or dog’s temperature, lube the thermometer with petroleum jelly, put it one inch into the rectum, and leave it there for two minutes (or until it beeps, in the case of a digital thermometer). After using the thermometer:

  • It should be cleaned with lukewarm soapy water.
  • Thoroughly rinse.
  • To sanitize, wipe the surface with alcohol.

The typical body temperature for cats and dogs is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, heated conditions, intensive activity, and stress may cause an animal’s body temperature to increase to as high as 103.5°F. As a result, veterinarians are often unconcerned until the fever reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher if there are accompanying indications of concern.

How to Treat Fevers in Cats and Dogs

Assuming there are no additional severe symptoms, a slight fever may be allowed to run its course since it helps to eliminate invading bacteria. In severe fever cases, a veterinarian may utilize drugs such as Ketoprofen to bring it under control. If the pet has become dehydrated due to the stress, the veterinarian may also prescribe fluids.

If there is no obvious explanation and your veterinarian suspects a bacterial disease, they may prescribe antibiotics. If the antibiotics do not help the condition or the fever returns after the surgery, diagnostic testing may be performed. Treatment will vary based on the identified ailment.

If caring for a cat or dog at home with a fever, offer a dish of freshwater nearby to encourage drinking and monitor its temperature often. Consult your veterinarian promptly if the temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Additional symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Abscesses
  • Urinating with difficulty
  • Urine with blood
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge
  • Coughing
  • bumps on the skin
  • Watery eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

Can Aspirin® or Tylenol® be given to cats and dogs for fever?

Never provide human fever drugs to a cat or dog without visiting a veterinarian. For instance, acetylsalicylic acid and acetaminophen, widely included in popular medications such as Aspirin® and Tylenol®, may be harmful to dogs.

Either acetylsalicylic acid or acetaminophen may kill a cat with a low amount. Even though dogs handle these treatments better than humans, numerous dogs have been harmed or killed by well-meaning owners who gave them what seemed to be very tiny amounts.

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